I want to begin this month’s column by wishing everyone a happy Easter and I hope that you had a restful break. I am delighted that the Tour de Yorkshire will come through our area next week.
Both the men’s and women’s races are due to cycle through Pateley Bridge, Masham, North Stainley, Ripon and then finally Birstwith and Hampsthwaite.
I campaigned hard for the funding to ensure that the Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire events were able to take place here in Yorkshire and they have been a huge success.
With these longer days, lighter evenings and crowds of passionate fans, this year’s Tour de Yorkshire is another opportunity to showcase our wonderful part of the country.
Last week I had the opportunity to visit Swinton Park and to discuss their programme of expansion and job creation as they open a new Country Club and Spa.
This new addition will lead to the creation of 45 jobs and includes a new programme to offer three trainees the opportunity to experience the various departments within the business.
This will be a real boost for the economy of the local area.
I saw for myself the new Grass Roots garden centre and cafe on the A61 – another example of tourism expansion.
Pateley Bridge has also been getting involved, with a great victory in its category at the Great British High Street Awards, which recognised the quality and charm of the place.
As we enter the summer, and the season of shows and events begins, I was pleased to introduce Farming Minister George Eustice to local farmers at Skipton Auction Mart last month. The event was a great success and offered an excellent opportunity for people to feed their concerns and suggestions directly to the Minister, who is responsible for looking at the future of agriculture in our country.
I will arrange further visits from my Ministerial colleagues in the coming months.
The Prime Minister has committed to building a country that works for everyone and these ministerial visits are a great opportunity to showcase North Yorkshire, give people the chance to speak directly with various members of the Government and to ensure our area is getting the recognition that its success deserves.
On the subject of success, the local elections are around the corner and I hope that you will go out and vote on Thursday 4 May.
You can find more information on the ‘Elections’ page of the North Yorkshire County Council website - http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/article/23625/Elections.
I will be holding regular surgeries over the coming weeks in Ripon, Skipton and other locations.
For more details on these, please visit my website at www.juliansmith.org.uk or contact my office on 01756 795898.